President Jair Bolsonaro and the former ruler Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva they played dirty in a very tough debate held this Sunday, two weeks before the second round of the Brazilian elections.
The debate, with a very free format, allowed for long dialectical exchanges between the two candidates, which led to constant confrontations, in which there were no shortage of low blows, lies, insults and profanity.
But there were also no awkward silences and some laughter between the opponents, who debated without a lectern, face to face, even coming into physical contact at one point, when Bolsonaro put his hand on Lula’s shoulder after an irony by the former trade unionist.
ATTACKS WITH THE PANDEMIC AND CORRUPTION
Lula wore Bolsonaro down mainly with his criticized management of the pandemicthe serious economic situation experienced by the poorest layer of the population, or the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.
On the other hand, Bolsonaro embarrassed Lula mainly by bringing up the corruption in the governments of the Workers’ Party (PT)between 2003 and 2016.
“Petrobras was the biggest corruption scandal in humanity. They looted 90,000 million reais (about 18,000 million dollars). You put the money in your butt and shared it with your friends,” Bolsonaro snapped at Lula in one of the harshest moments of the debate.
Lula acknowledged that there was corruption in the state oil company, but assured that everything was discovered due to the transparency of his government (2003-2010).
THE LATIN AMERICAN LEFT
The far-right leader took advantage of the final stretch of the debate to bring up Lula’s relationship with Latin American presidents like the one from Nicaragua Daniel Ortega, the venezuelan Nicholas Madurothe Colombian Gustavo Petro or the Argentine Albert Fernandez, whom he links with communism.
He spent more time criticizing Ortega, especially for the arrest of priests, the closure of churches and the media.
The former trade unionist said that the political situation in Nicaragua is up to Nicaraguans to resolve, although he left a message for Ortega.
“If someone believes he is essential, a dictator is being born. But if Ortega is making a mistake, let the Nicaraguan people punish him. If Maduro is making a mistake, let the Venezuelan people punish him”Lula said.
He also brought up Petro’s speech at the UN to defend the decriminalization of cocaine, linking him to Lula, who has never spoken out in favor of drug legalization.
INSULTS ON BOTH SIDES
Insults set the tone for the debate and stood out above the government proposals.
Lula called Bolsonaro “little dictator”, “liar” and “cheeky”while the current head of state said that his predecessor is “a national disgrace” and a “thief”.
In an ironic tone, Lula snapped at Bolsonaro, a captain in the Army reserve, that when he was a deputy, he “flattered” him and “felt proud” of having him as president, for the treatment he gave the military.
A controversy unleashed this Sunday by some statements by Bolsonaro that caused a stir, in which he used a colloquial phrase that could be understood as that he was attracted to some 14-year-old Venezuelan girls, who were prostituting themselves, also came to light in the debate.
The first to allude to the case was the conservative leader, who complained that the opposition had used those statements to accuse him of being a pederast, touching on “the most sensitive” issue of defending the family.
Lula, later, without referring directly to the case, said that whoever knows him knows what he did, and opined that “he must have a very heavy conscience for what he did” because he got out of bed last midnight to deny the accusations of pederasty.
ALLEGED “FRIENDSHIPS” WITH CRIMINALS
The contenders accused each other of being friends of criminals
Bolsonaro accused Lula of “having a pact” with drug trafficker Marcos Camacho, alias Marcolaand assured that the candidate of the Workers’ Party (PT) was “surrounded by dealers” during a rally held in a favela in Rio de Janeiro last Wednesday.
“You are friends with bandits. In the favela there was no policeman by your side, there were only traffickers,” Bolsonaro snapped at Lula in one of the most tense moments of the first block of the debate.
Lula laughed at these accusations, blamed Bolsonaro for associating crime with poverty and reproached him for his “friendships” with the militias, as the mafias made up of active and retired policemen are known that control dozens of favelas in Rio de Janeiro.
“Bolsonaro knows that the one who takes care of organized crime is not me. The one who is related to militiamen is not me. And he knows who it is. The organized crime that is related to the death of Marielle”Lula said.
Lula thus alluded to the murder in 2018 of the councilor of Rio de Janeiro Marielle Franco, who was known for her position in combating militia groups, in a crime that caused great international impact and is still unsolved.
Brazilians will return to the polls on next october 30 to choose between Lula and Bolsonaro.
In the first round of the elections, held on October 2, Lula was the most voted candidate, with 48.4%, compared to 43.2% of the votes received by Bolsonaro.
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